Thursday, October 1, 2015

YOU'LL GET USED TO IT

I arrived at the garage sale just as it was finishing. "Did you sell the bench you were advertising?" I asked. "No" It was in the back garden, under trees, and had clearly been there for many years; covered in lichen and mildew; a little wobbly and almost impossible to lift. The back and sides were made of cast iron which explained the weight. It was offered to me for $5. A challenge but I couldn't say no. At home I worked on sanding it down until all the lichen and old flaking surface was removed.


I liked the light color of the wood and investigated the best finish to keep it this way. My local hardware store suggested I use a teak oil finish.



Not exactly the finish I wanted but I was reminded of words spoken by Frank Lloyd Wright. He took a lady to the house he had built for her. As was his way he controlled everything about the house so when she saw the bright red door she told him she didn't like it. His words, "You'll get used to it" Well, as the days went by the dark look started to look better and better and now I am used to it and like it. I wonder if that lady got used to her red door?
My only complaint is that when they nailed on the Berkeley Forge emblem they didn't put it on straight. Really! This was a well made and probably quite expensive bench and they didn't take care about the last detail.

17 comments:

  1. $5 for this? Amazing find, and it looks so nice! Is it still wobbly or have you fixed that too?

    (Too flowery for my tastes but I would have worked with it at that price!)

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    1. I still have to deal with the wobble. One of the legs had some loss of wood and I can't decide whether to cut down the other legs or build up the bad leg. I know what you mean about the flowery. It isn't my style either but as FLW said, I'll get used to it.

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  2. It's beautiful! What a deal, even with all the work you had to put in on it. I liked the light wood, too, but when I saw the finished product I liked that better. It looks so rich and has a lot of depth. Can you retail the emblem? Or maybe you've already done that - in the picture it looked pretty straight. Nice job!

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    1. I did quite a bit of work searching for Berkeley Forge but was unable to come up with anything as elaborate as this. I think it must be quite old. Most of the new ones have only wood slats and not the elaborate side arms.

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  3. Great find!

    I've never been into garage sales, but I'm starting to think I should go hunting there for garden trellises, tripods, etc... They're soooo expensive new, but I would like to add some more climbers to the garden...

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    1. I think you would be quite surprised at the garden things you find at garage sales. The only problem is finding the time to go around them and sometimes be disappointed.

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  4. Even with the work you had to put in to get it looking this good, Jenny, it's a remarkable find. It's gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Kris. One of my better finds.

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  5. You find the best stuff and the best DEALS! Wow. That was a steal and you made it absolutely beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Dina. It really was a deal wasn't it? I think the sandpaper cost me more!

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  6. $5 for this bench? What a beautiful find. It will be lovely in your garden.

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    1. Still wondering where to put it Sarah.

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  7. It is official - you are the Garage Sale Queen. Nobody can see the potential and hunt out the best deals the way you can. You ought to lead caravans perhaps?

    I'm liking the dark stain - it lessens the difference in color between the wrought iron and the wood which makes it less "flowery" overall I think. Isn't that silly about the emblem! As you state, to have built such a remarkable item and then to take so little care with affixing the one bit that will relate that bench to the maker. Really, something like that would make me a little nuts. I'd have to at least try to fix it with the very real possibility I'd only make a mess of it and draw more attention rather than put things to rights.

    What a lot of work all that sanding must have been for you. I hope you find just the right spot to park that bench though I have a theory that placement is a lot like paint color... Wherever you put it, you'll quickly get used to it and your garden views will seem to always have had that lovely seat as part of what's on offer. Well done!

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  8. I was wondering what you'd decided to do! I wonder whether the finish might lighten up a bit after some time in the sun. And I agree with Deb-- I like that the stain does lesson the contrast between the wood and the iron, which makes the design look simpler and more classic.

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  9. A great diamond in the rough becomes a diamond again! I wonder if the stain will fade or weather once it sits in the sun a couple of years. The people that sold it wouldn't recognize it now!

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  10. I agree with Diana...you find the best deals.
    It's a beautiful bench. You did a great job cleaning it up.

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  11. Oooo, what a great find for $5! I'm sure it took some work, but it looks gorgeous now! That's too bad about the crooked emblem (stuff like that drives me crazy). Just last week I saw an old oak barrel that had been turned into a container of sorts just sitting outside for trash at a neighbor's house, so I picked it up. With a little cleaning up it will look really pretty (I think!) One man's junk is another man's treasure!

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